Both investment casting and sand casting are forms of metal casting. Despite the fact that both of the two casting processes involve pouring molten metal into a mold to create metal components, they differ in several ways.

We are both a manufacturer of Investment and Sand Casting. We get inquiries from our clients about the distinction between these two. This post will go through all the distinctions between them.

With basic information on them, you’ll be able to make the best choice for your casting manufacturing.

What Is Investment Casting?

Investment casting is also known as lost wax casting. It is a precise investment molding process that creates components in any cast alloys using the lost wax method. The mold or pattern for investment casting is generally made of aluminum. The process of investment casting begins with the creation of a wax pattern.. It involves immersing the tree assembly into a refractory slurry. After that, the log construction is immersed into a refractory slurry to produce a ceramic shell. Finally, melt-on metal is poured into the shell via the sprue gate and allowed to solidify.

Table 1: Advantages and Disadvantages of Investment Casting

Investment casting is capable of producing extremely thin walled components with intricate forms.Expensive than sand casting
It’s very precise, even net shape, with tight dimensional casting.Increased Lead Time
A smooth surface finish reduces machining and finishing 
Alloys and dissimilar metals, as well as duplex alloys, can be utilized. 
.Investment casting can be quite cost-effective on a continuing basis. 

What is Sand Casting?

Sand casting creates a molding surface by using sand. Because the liquefied material cools and hardens, there is less cracking, tearing, or other forms of flaws. It is because the flexible mold is more pliable.

To make a sand mold, you must first create a pattern of the final product. The majority of the time, manufacturers combine sand with clay and water to make the mold durable. Only one sand mold may be used once; however, the sand may be reused many times.

Table 2: Advantages and Disadvantages of Sand Casting

Casting with sand is often less expensive than other methods of metal casting.Other casting technologies are more accurate than this one. 
It can handle large moldings.Casting components with set weight and size requirements is difficult.
Both ferrous and non-ferrous metals may be used in sand casting.Rougher surface finish
The cost of post-casting molding may be lower. 

The Difference between Investment Casting and Sand Casting

Both investment casting and sand casting are classified as types of casting technology. There are several distinctions between them. The sand casting process, metal type, size, investment casting surface finish, and roughcasting cost.

“Investment Casting vs Sand Casting” is a popular issue, so what is the distinction between sand casting and investment casting? Let’s go over the distinctions between sand casting and investment casting in depth below.

1. The Process

In general, the investment casting process has eight distinct phases. Sand casting has six fundamental processes:

Table 3: Process involved in Invesment Casting and Sand Casting

Pattern MakingMaking of Pattern in the Sand
Assembly of Wax TreeGating System Set up
Building of ShellRemoval of mold pattern
Removal of WaxPouring of molten metal into mold
Pouring of MetalSolidfication of Metal
Shell Knock-offMetal Casting removal
Parts Cut-off 
Individual Casting 

2. Design:

The design may be shape any way in the investment casting process. Investment casting design has a lot of leeway to include intricate features and complex forms. Sand casting parts must often be tapered (with draft angles). It can be also formed due to constraints imposed by sand casting technology. When producing parts with internal voids or cavities, sand casting design is restricted by sand casting technology.

3. Cost:

Investment casting is more expensive than sand casting.

4. Metal Material

Metal components used in investment casting and sand casting are also different. When designing a casting business, metal producers should consider material selection. It should be based on tolerance, melting point, and other characteristics. If you want to cast non-ferrous metals such as aluminum or magnesium, the investment casting process can be completed. It also has its own sand casting alloy, although certain materials may be incompatible with it.

5. Surface Finish:

Another significant distinction between investment casting and sand casting is the finish surface. Investment casting can produce finished components. It provides smooth surfaces and tight tolerances under the work of aluminum pattern. The final component for delivery, after removing the sprue gate and shot blasting, is the casting blank. Sand casting requires the mold to be broken down to get rid of the completed product. As a consequence, parting lines will be visible outside of the finish part. The finish parts’ rough sand surface will result in an equal rough surface.

6. Weight:

Investment casting can produce parts that are smaller than 1 pound. Meanwhile, sand casting may not always create tiny and complex components like investment casting. Sand casting has size and weight limits comparable to those of investment casting. The weight of items produced by the mold-handling equipment at the foundry will influence their quantity.

7. Mass Production:

The investment casting technique can guarantee the castings’ consistency. But, ensuring the uniformity of sand castings is difficult. Unless through molding equipment (molding machines), automatic molding lines, or shell molding processes

8. Dimensional Tolerance:

Sand castings are more sensitive to dimensional changes, with a tolerance of 4-6 CT. Sand castings have poorer dimensional accuracy, with a CT range of 10~13. The wall thickness of sand castings is generally 3-5 mm.

Investment Casting and Sand Casting

JC Casting is a top custom investment casting manufacturer and a Sand Casting factory. We are a dependable supplier for all your casting needs. We can provide all types of investment casting components in steel, iron, aluminum, and many other materials.

Please contact us if you are considering the design of a new part to be cast. If you are weighing the choices of sand and investment casting, you can also rely on us. Our sales and engineering staff can help you decide which process is appropriate for you.